Top Christmas Movies Guaranteed to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Cozy up to these top holiday classic Christmas movies.

A Christmas Story (1983)

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All nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB Gun. Problem is, everyone thinks he’ll shoot his eye out.

Elf (2003)

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Mayhem ensues when a lovable, but misguided, elf (Will Ferrell) tracks down his cranky father (James Caan) in New York.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

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Pushy relatives, manic squirrels, and a very oversized tree—it could only be Christmas at the Griswolds.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Tim Burton’s animated fantasy about what happens when Halloween usurps Christmas is a delightfully spooky treat.

Scrooged (1988)

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An egomaniacal TV programmer (Bill Murray) learns the errors of his ways in this funny spin on Dickens’ novella.

Home Alone (1990)

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Eight-year-old Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is thrilled to spend Christmas away from his family. That is, until two bumbling burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) crash the party.

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Holiday Inn (1942)

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Jim (Bing Crosby) flees the city to open a rustic inn with his pal (Fred Astaire). Plot (or lack of) aside, Crosby’s “White Christmas” and Astaire’s fancy footwork are dreamy.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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Faced with bankruptcy, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) laments the day he was born. A guardian angel changes his mind.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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Kris Kringle lands the ultimate day job at Macy’s. With the help of a flatmate, he wins over his supervisor (Maureen O’Hara) and her skeptical toddler (Natalie Wood).

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The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

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Looking for a more puppet-centric approach to the Scrooge story? Try this version, in which Ebenezer and the gang are acted out by everyone's favorite felt-covered friends.

The Polar Express (2004)

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Some people may find the motion-capture animation tipping into uncanny valley, but it's hard to deny the story's appeal. Based on a beloved kids' book, the movie follows the adventures of a boy as he heads to the North Pole to meet Santa.

The Santa Clause (1994)

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Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) morphs from corporate Scrooge to Santa when he accidentally kills Saint Nick.

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The Bishop's Wife (1947)

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Cary Grant plays Dudley, an angel summoned to Earth by a cash-strapped bishop, whose gentle charm helps a whole community learn what really matters in life. For a more contemporary take on the tale, check out the Denzel-Washington-and-Whitney-Houston 1996 remake, The Preacher's Wife.

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